Census: Thousands of same-sex married couples in NW

Sep 28, 2011

About 5,500 same-sex couples in the Northwest checked the box to be counted as married in the 2010 Census. Neither Washington, Oregon nor Idaho recognizes same-sex marriages.

A new Census Bureau report says the number of same-sex couples who identify themselves as married greatly exceeds the number of marriage licenses issued by states that legalized such unions.

The 2010 Census gave co-habitating couples many options to describe their relationship including as roommates, unmarried partners or spouses.

In Washington state, about 3,000 same-sex couples categorized themselves as married. In Oregon, a little more than 2,000. Washington and Oregon have banned gay marriage. They instead embrace domestic partnerships. Idaho condones neither and shows a much lower percentage of same-sex households.

This week, the Census Bureau revised its estimate of same-sex households downward after discovering the count published earlier this year was inflated by opposite sex couples who mismarked their forms.

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